“Feudbook” and Politics

Published by Rick on Tagged Uncategorized
                              God, I can’t WAIT for this freaking election to be over! Political differences are always there, but in an election year, there just naturally tends to be more dialogues, more opinions, and more disputes. I’ve accumulated a few outwardly conservative Facebook friends over the years, and while there’s always the option to blow someone off if their views clash with mine, I’ve never felt it was necessary: Until yesterday. 
                                   I’ve “unfriended” a few over the three years I’ve been on FB, but usually it’s if the friend is only using the site to invite me to numerous events that I probably wouldn’t attend if they were next door. Why invite me to attend a stand-up comedy show that I’m not on? When you know i’m in England, why invite me to events in Los Angeles? If it’s not people that invite me to shows, it’s the people that ask me to help them buy a cow for Farmville, or some other app I’m not interested in. If that’s ALL they’re using the site for, then I can easily unfriend them, and in most cases they won’t notice. 
                                With my Conservative friends, it’s a little trickier, but there’s only a handful of friends that have challenged me, and for the most part, I welcome that. It’s pretty much the same reason I read The Daily Mail, a more conservative London paper, than the more liberal Guardian.  (Also, the puzzles in the Mail are a little less complicated and “see-how clever-we-are” esoteric.) With the Guardian, they’re preaching to the choir, whereas the Mail gives me the chance to get pissed off. 
                                   Three FB friends from entirely different origins have challenged me most blatantly. One is a fellow stand-up whom I can’t imagine we feel the same about anything, except I knew him from Northern California, so he MIGHT be a Giants fan. He has lectured me a few times about how “wrong” I am on certain posts, I absorb, tell him he’s not going to change my mind, he respects my right to my opinion, for he’s gotten his rocks off, and we move on.  The second is a classmate from Southern California with whom I’ve had a few debates, and while it’s gotten heated a couple of times, we mostly agree to disagree.  He’s made the occasional unprovoked jibe about my political stances, and while some would tell him to fuck off, I haven’t for the same reasons as described above. I get to assert and defend what I believe in, and that’s fine.
                                        But what if the person is a Tea Partier? Arguing with them is virtually pointless, because as was the case on Sunday, I was dealing with a first cousin who spends the bulk of his days looking for statistics that support his narrow views, so he can be prepared to trot them out as the basis of his whole platform. If not statistics, there’s YouTube videos that, through selective editing, can “absolutely prove” that Obama is a Kenyan Muslim terrorist who wants to turn America into an Allah-worshipping nation. This is what I dealt with on Sunday and Monday. Mostly, he was having it out with another cousin, and I chimed in with a beautiful line I heard on a writers’ seminar I attended this past weekend, “We should look at statistics the way a drunk looks at a lamp post: For support, not for illumination.” The irony of that statement being lost in this debate, I was suddenly thrown into the mix, while my other cousin retreated, no doubt leaving the asshole cousin believing he “won.”  
                                     This continued back and forth for the better part of the next 24 hours, as he kept challenging me to prove him wrong, which I knew that even if I did, he would ignore any arguments I had.  My sister-in-law then got more forcefully involved, so it was my turn to fade. I decided overall it wasn’t worth the hassle, so I unfriended him, as did my sister-in-law. He managed to get one more shot at me since I didn’t block him in time, harping on my three divorces and my not making it big in show business as evidence that I was a “talentless loser.” Seeing as how he had not seen me in the flesh in 25 years, and never saw me perform, he obviously was working without his trusty files of statistics, so without that, just do some name-calling and curse me out. Nice one! 
                                  I don’t know that I’ve learned much from this episode, except that it certainly is baffling how two people can share the same surname, and two of the same grandparents, yet have all the similarities end there. Makes you wonder what the fuck happened in the gene pool! I have about 800 other friends, and I would imagine about 750 of them are liberal-leaning, so yes I’ll be OK. If Romney wins, I’ll be disappointed, but I promise not to gloat if Obama wins. Either way, it’ll sure be nice to see the back door of all this.  

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